Itinerary in brief:
- 2 nights Louisville
- 2 nights Lexington
- 1 night Elizabethtown
- 3 nights Nashville
Day 1: Arrive Louisville
On arrival in Louisville you will pick up your rental car at the airport and make your way to the hotel, where you will check in for two nights.
Day 2: Louisville
Today is yours to explore the city at your leisure. We recommend visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum, where you can learn about the extraordinary experience of this world-famous horserace as well as meeting their resident thoroughbred and the miniature horse called Winston. After that, you can head to Churchill Downs, where the race takes place, before driving to Frankfort Avenue, the road that connects the city’s most charming historic neighbourhoods. It’s the perfect place to grab a ‘hot brown’ for lunch – a Louisville classic open sandwich made of turkey, mornay sauce and cheese - in a cute café. You can spend the afternoon in ‘Museum Row’, hopping between science, history and sports museums, before hitting a bar with some live bluegrass and grabbing a glass of whisky.
Days 3 & 4: Bourbon Country and Kentucky Horses
Departing from Louisville, you’ll drive east into Bourbon country where you’ll enter the classic Kentucky countryside – lush grass, white fences and horse farms and bourbon distilleries tucked between rolling hills. You’ll definitely want to visit some – tasting smooth bourbon at the Jim Beam, Heaven Hill or Wild Turkey distilleries is something you can’t miss when visiting Kentucky. On your second day we’ve included a half day tour of the local horse farms – you’ll explore the bluegrass region as well as visiting Keeneland Racecourse, a national historic landmark.
Day 5: Drive to Elizabethtown
Today you’ll drive south, enjoying the pretty Kentucky countryside as you head towards Elizabethtown, checking into your hotel for one night. From here there are lots of areas to explore – first why not visit the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Historical Park, where you can see a replica cabin exactly like the one Lincoln was born in and learn about the life of this celebrated president. Nearby you’ll also find the Mammoth Caves National Park which is a great place to spend the afternoon – whether you like hiking, cycling, canoeing down the Green River or simply taking a picnic as you explore in and around the world’s longest cave.
Day 6: Drive to Nashville
This morning you’ll make the short drive down to Nashville, in the state of Tennessee. On arrival you’ll check into your hotel for two nights so get straight out into the city and start exploring. This evening, why not head to Hometown Bar-B-Que for some ribs and live country music!
Day 7 & 8: Nashville
Start your time in the music city with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum which has ever changing exhibits displaying the best the genre has to offer before wandering along Music Row to visit the historic RCA Studio B where Elvis recorded many of his tracks. Stop for a plate of hot chicken, Nashville’s favourite meal and take a walk through Centennial Park, where you’ll find a full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon.
There is so much more to see and do here – the Johnny Cash Museum, learning to line dance in one of the dance halls, devouring a plate of meat and three – your days here will be busy! Spend each evening on Honky Tonk Highway – this street of country music bars is where many legends like Willie Nelson and Gretchen Wilson started their careers and will be chock full of budding musicians to keep you entertained.
Day 9: Depart Nashville
Today is your final day in Nashville – take one last stroll through downtown before driving to the airport and dropping off your rental car before your onwards flight.